Scrubber Build and Progress

Discussion in 'Biological/Natural Filtration and Deep Sand Beds' started by tjiPPi, 1 Apr 2011.

  1. tjiPPi

    tjiPPi

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    I've decided to create this thread to detail my scrubber build and to track the progress of the ATS.

    First off, some functional criteria for my ATS:
    Simple to make
    Easy to clean
    Use as little power as possible

    I took some measurements of the space available under my stand and went and bought a container that matched the available space the closest. So I tried to fit the container under the stand, but realised that it would become a mission to maintain the scrubber since it would have been too close to the top of the stand (the container was about 400mm high)

    I went container hunting again and bought a big jim toolbox:biggrin:
    The measurements are as follows:
    LxWxH: 470mm x 240mm x 200mm

    This one fitted perfectly under the stand in such a way that is not really in the way of anything apart from being in front of the sump, but I can still reach the sump easily.

    I decided to go with 2 single sided screens, with lights between the 2 screens.
    To keep the water away from the lights I siliconed 2 perspex panes lengthwise inside the container
    NOTE: Always roughen-up the plastic surface you want to apply the silicone to, otherwise the silicone will not stick to the plastic very good and will come off easily. I learned the hard way:whistling:
    [​IMG]

    The size of the water holding sides is 90mm wide and is the whole length of the container.
    I drilled 1 drain for each side and siliconed a 32 to 25mm plastic elbow into the hole. These drains where then connected to the sump via a diy'd bulkhead. I used some of those clear soft plastic pipes as the drain pipes. The drains in the above pic is the reworked drains (more about this later).

    To irrigate the screens I used 32mm pvc pipe that I drilled holes into. The scrubber inlet was a quick release fitting that split with a T to the 2 sides. I drilled 2 32mm hole in the container for the 2 pipes to fit through.
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    With my first FW test 2 problems presented itself:
    1 of the 90deg drain elbows leaked
    The water level inside the compartments was way too high for comfort:eek: meaning it could overflow into lights compartment.(Almost 3/4 full)
    The problem was that the drains couldn't handle the flow from the overflow.
     
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  3. tjiPPi

    tjiPPi Thread Starter

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    To fix the problem I decided to do 2 things:
    1) Rip out the drains and upgrade them to 32mm the whole way into the sump. (some of the old connectors as well as the bulkhead were 20mm inner)
    2) Split the scrubber feed in 2 and add a valve to have some control over the flow into the scrubber.

    For the drains I epoxied the pipe in the drain hole and put half a 32mm to 32mm slip connector over the pipe inside the container as a means of added protection from being pulled out (see the 1st pic).
    I then glued an elbow with a piece of pipe to the drain pipe under the container.(All of the joints have been siliconed as well.) These pipes lead straight into the sump.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The scrubber feed was split using a 32mm T and a 32mm valve. The valve was put on the side that goes directly into the sump.
    [​IMG]

    For the lighting I decided to use normal 20W energy saving bulbs. There are 2 of these. In the 1st pic of the post you can see the black connector in the middle compartment. There is another one opposite it. I am using 20W to try and keep the power usage to a minimum but will up it if I do not see good algae growth.

    This is a pic of the complete unit
    [​IMG]

    I installed it and plumbed it into the sump and will do a FW test tomorrow morning and hopefully there will be no leaks:whistling:

    [​IMG]

    The screens are made from shade netting and they are each 430mm wide and 180mm long. The are fastened to those plastic pipes used for garden/bedding irrigation. You get them in different lengths. Its only use it thus to hang the screens inside the scrubber.
    The screens are not fastened to anything so it can be taken out to clean very easily. The holes in the water pipes (blue 32mm ones) have been drilled at an angle towards the screens.
    [​IMG]
    The cut-out is for clearance around the drain holes.
     
  4. stevengrant

    stevengrant

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    Looks very impressive so far - be interested to see it once it is working
     
  5. Steve Warren

    Steve Warren

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    It looks nice and simple. Are you able to remove the lighting section to clean the perspex?
     
  6. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

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    Looks good so far. 20w lamps will not be bright enough. You will get some growth, but it won't have the benefits that you're looking for. You'll need a min of 32w, but I recommend 45w as you've only got to lamps. A better configuration would have been 4x 32w lamps hanging downwards.

    The pressure from the overflow will unfortunately not be great enough to to spray onto your screens. You'll be best off with about a 3500-4000 l/hr pump.

    Here is a scrubber very similar to yours:

    [​IMG]

    Durso standpipes would help the scrubber to drain better.
     
  7. erle_vaughan

    erle_vaughan

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    nice build
     
  8. tjiPPi

    tjiPPi Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the advice! I'll look at adding some lights.

    My return pump is 3500l/h so it should be OK. I tested with FW and had good spray onto the screens.
     
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